Lens-Artists Challenge: Delicate Colors

Lens-Artists Challenge #98: Delicate Colors

As many countries are opening up a bit from lock-down, and I was inspired by the soft glory of spring nature in my part of the world, I thought we would indulge in some Delicate Colours!

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Delicate colors bring to mind a few old favorites. As well as some new discoveries.

A uniquely shaded rose. A painter’s palette of sorts. It was part of a birthday bouquet several years ago.

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A walk on the beach in 2016 – right before sunset – showcased nature’s delicate balance of colors. I can’t wait to get back to visit.

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During a recent walk I stopped to admire a neighbor’s extensive front yard garden. It is expertly planted so flowers bloom constantly throughout spring. Much appreciated and admired.

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I spotted crocuses during a walk downtown along the river in April. They appeared to be hiding next to a concrete wall. Bent over in the wind.

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A few days later they were gone.

Perched On Top of the World

BeckyB April Square Tops

I am hoping our April theme will keep our heads held high and help fill our lives with social connections and squares filled with joy….The theme is top, and you don’t have to go outside to find topping squares…Create your post with a square photograph

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SixWordSaturday

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Hampton Beach, NH
March 2020

A chilly day at the beach a month ago…which now feels like many months ago.

A seagull surveyed the beach from the top of a light pole. Most likely looking forward to the return of warm weather visitors. Tourists settled in canvas chairs. Books open. Umbrellas up. Sand castles under construction. Spreading their beach towels on the sand…along with an endless supply of sandwiches, snacks and drinks.

This seagull and its buddies are going to be waiting longer than usual for their pick of the leftovers this season.

Fandango’s Friday Flashback: April 17

Inspired by Fandango’s Friday Flashback: April 17

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year….Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year?

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This post is from April 17, 2018

Two years ago…when the beach was open.
It is now closed.
I look forward to the predictable again.

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the beach

Here is where I want to be:

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It has been raining for 2 days; puddles and small lakes forming everywhere I look out my windows. The grass disappearing underneath. The sun hiding behind stubborn clouds.

As soon as it clears and the sun comes out…and it warms up a bit, that’s where I’ll go. My favorite place to walk. It fills me up; its peace, its soothing sounds – the ultimate room with no doors, no walls – infinite space.  There is power in the ocean – an energy, a purpose. The tide goes in and goes out. Predictable. Not much in life is that predictable.

Often I pass by small children digging holes – trying frantically to avoid the waves that ultimately wash away their castles. Joggers of all shapes and sizes. Dogs run and jump despite the “no dogs allowed” signs. Couples pose for selfies; the ocean at their backs. A lone walker will stop and stare at the horizon. And nobody bothers her. I get it. It is hypnotizing and calming and energizing all at the same time.

Seagulls run up and down the sand. They stop. They look around, shake their heads as if bored. Same old, same old.

Lens-Artists Challenge #87: Reflections

Inspired by Lens-Artists Challenge #87: Reflections

…we invite you to be creative to find any reflective surfaces to show us your reflection photographs.

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My most recent favorite reflection happened in January during a walk on the beach. The tide was lower than I’d ever seen before. The afternoon light caught the clouds above while the beach transformed into a mirror.

Magical.

I had driven to this beach with an overwhelming need to clear my head. Walking along the ocean…listening to the waves hit the shore…the blue sky meeting the water in a far off horizon.

It never fails me.

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Hampton Beach 2020

A few years ago I caught this moment during a walk close to sunset.

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Hampton Beach 2016

Last summer, reflections appeared on a pond at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont.

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Shelburne, Vermont 2019

This past week has been quite difficult on a personal level…which drove me to the beach again yesterday. No reflections this time…but these photos brought it all back.

The peace. The calm. The comfort.

Gotta love the power of the images we capture – as they transport us back to a healing moment in time.

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(I resisted inserting the Supremes rendition of Reflections, as it kept going through my mind while writing this post…it’s funny how songs just pop up at the most unexpected times)

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Special Spot Shots

Inspired by Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #78: Special Spot Shots

Now we are looking forward to seeing Your very special spot shots – maybe a room in your home, a garden, a mountain, a city, an exhibition, a lovely café…a place that is special to you!

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While taking on this photo challenge, I came to the realization that my “Special Spot” had changed.

At first, I thought…Coronado Beach! I have such warm and wonderful – and yes, special, memories from the half dozen times I vacationed there.

I have posted about this slice of heaven on the US west coast several times.

Coronado Beach, California

However, I have not been back to Coronado since 2006 and it is unlikely I will be able to make a cross country trip again.

Time for a new special place…

I live on the US east coast…relatively close to a beautiful beach. I will admit, it’s not as beautiful as Coronado…but it still ranks up there.

From October through December of 2016 we lived in a rental across the street from the sands of Hampton Beach. A temporary stint of “living at the beach” while we waited to close on our new condo under construction a few towns away.

It was off season, so we practically had the beach to ourselves.

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Hampton Beach, NH – 2016

Peaceful.
Perfect for afternoon walks.

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Hampton Beach, NH – 2016

A seat on the sand for contemplation.

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Hampton Beach, NH – 2016

Mesmerized by the waves while my imagination ran wild with plans for the future.

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Yesterday afternoon I decided to take a ride back to Hampton Beach…

Dressed in layers for a cold, windy, winter walk.

It happened to be low tide. The lowest tide I’d ever seen.

I was not disappointed.

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Hampton Beach, NH – 2020
January beach
Hampton Beach, NH – 2020

It seems I still have a Special Spot.

Now…close to home.

Paradise Found

Inspired by Lens-Artists Challenge #65: Pick a Place

We’d like you to capture the spirit of a place that is vivid in your memory. What was it that drew you in and why did it capture YOUR heart?

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You have to go to Coronado!
Stop at the Del for dessert since it’s cheaper than getting a meal!

My friend Barbara was adamant. My husband and I were planning a week’s vacation in San Diego (this was 1996…before the internet…back when you talked to friends and read travel books to prepare for a trip). I had always wanted to explore southern California – specifically San Diego – and Barbara insisted we include a trip to nearby Coronado.

She grew up in California, so I figured her advice was solid.

We dutifully signed up for one of those trolley tours you can take when visiting a popular tourist destination. Coronado (often referred to as an island, but as we were informed many times – it’s a peninsula – NOT an island) is just across the bridge from San Diego. Lucky for us…it was a stop on the route.

When the trolley let us off on Coronado’s Orange Avenue….we fell in love with what we saw. Palm tree lined streets, friendly locals, an amazing ice cream shop, a restaurant advertising the world’s best margarita, thriving community theater…and the best part: the Beach. Sparkly sand like I’d never seen before. Or since.

Yes, we also drank tea and enjoyed a snack at the “Del” (aka: The Hotel Del Coronado…the iconic location of the classic film Some Like It Hot). Thank you Barbara.

We discovered that Coronado Beach goes on for what seems like forever. Dotted with people of all ages, shapes and sizes. Tourists and townspeople alike. Kids building sand castles. Teenagers tossing beachballs. Runners pounding footprints into the sand. Even a section for dogs and their humans to play.

It’s also a perfect beach for walking, even at high tide. An ideal spot for stretching out on a rented chair or towel. Reading. Writing. Listening to music. Staring at the horizon. Quenching one’s thirst. Unwinding.

We returned to my favorite place a half dozen times and found something new to do every visit.

My last visit was a solo trip in 2006 for a week’s R&R.

No need to rent a car. Walking or riding a bicycle was enough.

From a walk by the pier…to the shops…to the beach.

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Coronado Beach

 

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Dog Beach

 

After dinner…perhaps a concert at the bandstand.

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And back to the beach for a sunset goodnight.

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Just perfect.